Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Mekhong

Posted by Garth on Monday, December 1, 2008

I realize that my posts have been a bit sporadic as of late, and I apologize.  But I'm gonna point the finger at my last houseguest, Gregg, who was supposed to (and assumingly is still going to) write a guest blog post.  Which I have not received.  Even though it's been at least a week since he's been back in Bermuda.  And he had about 30 hours of plane tripping in which to write it.  So he has no excuses.  But I digress.

A couple of weeks ago when Gregg and JP were here, around the 19th of November, Sean graciously offered us an overnight trip on his badass boat.  So that afternoon Gregg, JP, his gf Kelly, Santino, Sean and I set sail (well, it's a powered catamaran, so there was actually no "sail" involved).  After some discussion we decided on Phi Phi Islands as our destination.  The afternoon involved a fairly fast 20 knot, 1 hour ride with only a few minutes of rain. 

We dropped anchor at one of the unpopulated edges of Ko Phi Phi Don and proceeded to swim and snorkel for a bit.  The sealife was quite impressive, and I'm sure Gregg got some great shots with his underwater camera, but he didn't share them and hasn't posted them on Picasa yet, so I have none to share with the rest of you.  Santino decided to try to swim through an underwater cave, but freaked out about halfway through, did a 180, and came up about 8 metres short, scraping his back on the cave ceiling.  It looked worse than it was when he finally climbed back on the boat, what with the better portion of his back covered in blood.  But it cleaned up alright and as far as I know they didn't have to amputate.

After that we decided to anchor a little closer to the beach so that we could go ashore for some dinner and nightlife.  I'm not gonna go into a lot of detail here as overall the evening wasn't really that eventful.  Phi Phi, generally speaking, is a big tourist hole.  The only Thais on the island appeared to be working... everyone else was a farang. As an aside, in our infinite wisdom we only had one cell phone between the 6 of us - mine (you'll note the relevance of this later).  Ate a decent dinner at some Italian place then bounced to a couple of different bars for drinks.  JP and Kelly took off to get their first Thai Massage and Gregg did the same only solo.  JP and Kelly ended up calling it an early night and went back to the boat first.  It was around that time that things started getting interesting.  Gregg, Santino, Sean and I were walking along looking for the next bar to go to when all of a sudden Santino wasn't with us.  We sort of hovered around for a bit, but he never showed up, so we kept on walking, figuring we'd find him eventually, if not that night then the following morning.  The three of us stopped at a bar on the beach and had a beer, then started walking again... only this time when we stopped and turned around Gregg had gone missing.  So, again, Sean and I sat around hoping that he'd stumble into us, but after about 20 mins we decided it wasn't going to happen.  At this point it was around 2:30am, so the two of us went back to the boat, figuring that we'd just head back to the island in the morning and hunt down the two castaways.

The next morning at around 11, JP, Sean and I received a text message from Simon, the manager of Dos, saying that Gregg had turned up at Dos and was safe and sound.  Note that this was at least a 1 hour boat ride, and when we last saw Gregg he was pretty drunk.  This is why I'm eagerly awaiting his guest blog post.  I won't give away too much here, but suffice it to say that he didn't swim back.  A few minutes after we got that text we started getting the dingy ready to go back and look for Santino, when all of a sudden we here "Oh My God! I finally found it!" coming from a small boat in the distance.  Seems that Santino had commissioned a water taxi to help him find the boat, but had started on the wrong side of the island and it had taken him the better part of an hour to finally find us.

Since all of the crew was now accounted for, we took off again, this time to Ko Phi Phi Leh, the island that was used for the movie The Beach.  The snorkelling here was pretty impressive too, but it had become a bit of a dirty tourist hole.  There was a ton of garbage floating in the water, and as soon as we dropped anchor the Thai water equivalent of a forest ranger motored up to us and charged us a couple hundred baht for anchoring there.  After a bit more swimming and snorkelling we figured we should head back to Chalong and find out what happened to Gregg (more on that when he finally sends me his post).

Overall, it was a fun trip on a great boat with Santino handing Gregg the title of MVP.

That was my first experience on Sean's boat.  The second (and third) just happened over the last 2 nights.  This week Phuket is holding the King's Cup Regatta, and Sean is getting paid to drive sponsors around to watch the race.  So as of Saturday he was anchored in Kata.  Originally the race was supposed to start today (Monday) but with all of the turmoil in Bangkok and difficulty in getting to Phuket, they postponed it until Tuesday.  Which meant that Saturday and Sunday night the boat was just sitting there empty.  So Sean invited a few people out there on Saturday, but I was the only one that showed up.  We hit a bar in Kata before going on the boat, and it just so happened that Sara, one of the waitresses that used to work at Dos, was there and celebrating her birthday.  It got pretty messy with shots of tequila and sambuca rapidly making the rounds.  When we finally got out to the boat the water was warm and a 2am swim was in order, followed by an extremely sound sleep and a throbbing hangover headache the next morning.  We hung out on the boat until around 2pm, then went back to Dos for a bit.

Sunday was the opening party (apparently there's a different party every night) and Sean had an extra pass (admission without a pass was 4000 baht), so I took advantage of it.  Free food and an open bar was a potential recipe for disaster, but I was feeling ill and only had a couple of glasses of wine.  Ended up crashing on the boat again, but had to get off by around 12:30 today as there was some sort of pre-race race or something for which Sean had to drive some sponsors around.  At any rate, Sean's boat is pretty pimpin' and was definitely one of the better boats anchored out there today.  We were even talking about doing a trip to Ko Phangan for a Full Moon Party when Sean gets back from the US in January - supposedly a three week trip (one week each way with a one week stopover in Phangan).  Let's just hope Dos is making money by then.


tingtom said...

A Phuket charter yacht is a great experience. I enjoyed reading about yours - it is a blast to go island hopping with friends. Another good option is the Up2You Phuket Charter Catamaran which is a pretty good Phuket Travel Deal.

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